The all-too-common business practice of hidden fees is hurting consumers. Hidden fees tacked on by cable companies, wireless service providers, airlines, resorts, and many others who tempt customers with one price and then demand another, much higher one.
Many consumer-driven industries are guilty of this practice, and consumers, as well as consumer advocates, have had enough. The Harvard Business Review has said that this “bait-and-surcharge” practice, where the advertised price is never the final price, is an “unethical business practice.”
Resort fees, airline seat selection fees, overhead space and phone booking fees, and wireless “administrative” fees are just the tip of the iceberg. The practice of luring customers with seemingly lower prices has permeated a variety of industries. There’s even a “kitchen charge” in some restaurants throughout the country that purports to give kitchen workers a living wage. Instead of raising prices and allowing customers to make informed decisions about how and where they spend their money, businesses are taking the cowardly way out and using deceptive tactics to hide the real price.
According to the Harvard Business Review, this is bad for consumers because “this practice makes price comparisons challenging which restricts competition.” Plus, consumers cannot make educated decisions because they are typically unaware of the additional “hidden” fee until after they’ve committed to the purchase.
Disguising the actual cost of services may benefit big companies, but the practice is undoubtedly hurting consumers. Even the government has stepped in to ease the burden and protect consumers from service providers’ hidden fees.
At Billshark, we believe that consumers shouldn’t have to overpay on their monthly services because of unethical business practices. We can help you lower your monthly bills so that you never overpay again. See how much you can save and then send us your bills. We’ll lower them faster than you can say, “what’s that fee?”